Sunday, November 8, 2009

Alernatve Energy is a Bad Alternative

Another environmentalist-imposed environmental disaster was recently in the news. This time, it is a wind farm in central Utah. Why does the article say nothing about the heavy government (taxpayer) subsidies necessary for this project to even begin? This is but one more example of profoundly lazy news reporting -- or worse, complicity with radical environmentalists and pandering politicians. Wind power, solar power, bio-fuels (including ethanol), and electric and hybrid cars are all economic failures. They would not exist without taxing the people to force these technologies into the market. They also are environmental disasters in that they not only are ugly eyesores (as Senator Edward Kennedy said of wind power). They simply displace the pollution somewhere out-of-sight-out-of-mind.

Then in August, the local newspaper proudly carried an announcement that the 17-acre, 100-kilowatt "SunSmart" solar farm completed earlier this year near St. George, Utah earned a "Smart Energy Innovation Award." The reporter admits that this solar project, like all on-the-grid solar and wind systems "is unlikely to pay itself off at current power rates." This, even after applying a significant government subsidy at taxpayer expense! Without taxpayer subsidies, the $100 million solar project at Nellis AFB (which saves the base only $1 million per year in electric costs -- that's 100 years to pay back the investment) that Mr. Obama so proudly displayed a few months ago. Another factor which reporters and alternative-energy advocates do not address is the substantial toxic waste resulting from the manufacture of solar system components.

The St. Geroge solar project is typical in that it is an economic scam and an environmental disaster. The next day, ironically, the same local newspaper carried an article about the installation of a new 40 megawatt gas turbine (which covers only a few hundred square feet) to provide electricity to the same community. I'm confused. Isn't that solve-all-energy-problems solar system so proudly heralded in The Spectrum supposed to take care of all our energy needs? As the article on the new gas turbine clearly illustrates, when you really need to get some work done, do it the old fashioned way -- with nukes, coal, oil, or gas.

The United States is the richest nation on the globe with regards to available energy resources. Our fosil and nuclear energy can be used cleanly and safely. And thus it is! The fact that we are not energy-independent is a simple and natural consequence of extremely bad political decisions influenced by activist "environmentalists" whose real objective is destroying capitalism and freedom.

As a taxpayer, I'm sure getting tired of paying for these "government incentives." Except for remote applications where running traditional power lines is cost-prohibitive, Congress must stop subsidizing industries that are not economically viable such as solar and wind power and electric and hybrid cars (There's a $7,500 tax-payer-funded subsidy for Chevy Volt buyers!). Not only is each of these non-viable, they are also environmental disasters. At the point of use, they seem clean ("green"), but in reality, they only displace the pollution someplace out of sight of the user. People who favor these "green" scams don't care about science, don't understand economics, won't do the math, and enjoy having the government force other people to pay their bills for them. It is time for politicians, journalists, environmentalists, and voters to learn something about science and economics and muster the courage to say "BS"! All government subsidies of "alternative energy" scams such as solar and wind power and electric and hybrid cars must cease immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Another of Obama's dream "green" investments collapsed this month -- exactly in the month some experts predicted. Solyndra, a manufacturer of solar panels, closed its doors after obtaining a half-billion dollar infusion of taxpayer money. See Jon Stewart's analysis at

    Government central planners must immediately stop using taxpayer money to force products and services into the marketplace. Only free-market forces can introduce new products and services efficiently and wisely. Politicians, bureaucrats, and other central planners cannot.